School stress: Can lighting create calm?

By Greenlite Group

21 Dec 2018

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We’re told that our school days are the best of our lives, but a recent study by Barnardo’s suggests school can be a serious source of stress for young people.

And it’s not just children who are struggling. According to a 2017 survey by the Education Support Partnership, an alarming 75% of teachers experienced physical and mental health issues in the last two years as a result of their work.

Getting the light right

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For example, students can be exposed to a bright blue-rich light early in the school day, stimulating them into wakefulness for the learning sessions ahead. The sheer power of morning light was shown in a study by the Lighting Research Centre, which found that office workers who received a high dose of light in the morning reported lower levels of stress than those receiving low light. Exposure to more light during the day and less light at night helped calibrate the circadian clock, improving sleep patterns and creating happy circle of wellbeing.

The human centric approach

The results seem to speak for themselves. When Lindeborg school in Malmo, Sweden, swapped fluorescent lamps for LED panels, the students reported that they felt less tired and found it easier to concentrate.

A calming impact

If you’re in any doubt as to how effective this can be, consider a year-long experiment, carried out by the government of Hamburg and The University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf. When they put Philips SchoolVision lighting, a human centric LED system, to the test with 166 students, they found hyperactive behaviour decreased by a staggering 76%.

With a worrying number of children citing school as a major source of stress, there’s never been a better time to address how we can change the learning environment to improve wellbeing. After all, when we invest in education we are investing in our future. LED lighting can be fitted in both modern and old school buildings with minimal fuss. It’s also energy efficient, meaning lower energy bills and public sector institutions may qualify for interest-free Government funding, through Salix Finance Ltd. For more information please contact Greenlite Group, on hello@greenlitegroup.co.uk

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